Meet Princy Gogoi–A differently-abled artist working in Guwahati
GUWAHATI: From writing her own exams to doing household chores to working on beautiful paintings, 19-year old Princy Gogoi does everything with her toes. Born without arms, there is literally nothing that separates Princy from the able-bodied people around her. Her story is that of immense courage and determination.
Born to Jagannath and Beauty Gogoi, Princy belongs to the Sonari area of Sivasagar district. She was born without arms but her indomitable spirit to excel in life kept her going. She always believed in herself and her inability to write like her peers never bogged her down. She pursued education from Sonari Jatiya Vidyalaya, after being denied admission in several schools of the district. After passing matriculation, she took admission in Sonari Junior College where she studied in the Arts stream.
After writing the Class 12 board examination, Princy had to go through what she described as the “toughest phase of her life.” She said, “I had appeared for all the papers during board examinations and I was certain that I’d pass them at one go but when the results came in, I was marked nil (zero) in three of the five subjects. The college administration falsely accused me of not appearing for the said papers.
So I had to travel to Guwahati to plead my case. By the time my answer sheets were found and mark sheet was rectified, colleges in my district were done with their admissions.”
Princy went through hardships but never once in her journey did she let her disability become a hurdle. She turned problems into opportunities and decided to study further in Guwahati. Presently, she’s in the first year of graduation in Arts Stream from Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University and attends weekly lectures that are conducted at Guwahati’s SB Deorah College.
Princy has a passion for painting and singing. Artist Princy paints stunning portraits and sceneries using her feet to hold the brush. She has participated in and won several awards at state level art and drawing competitions. Speaking to G Plus about her journey as an artist, Princy said, “Painting is my hobby. I enjoy the process and like to practice it whenever I get time. My first teacher was my mother but I started learning it formally when I was around 8 years old from a teacher in Sivasagar.”
She dreams of opening her own art school and believes that one shouldn’t keep thinking of themselves as disabled. Instead they should think of themselves as equal to others in order to succeed in life. Princy not only writes and paints with her toes, she also does household chores like washing utensils, sweeping the floor, cooking, sewing clothing, lighting the incense stick and praying.
Since the past one and a half years, Princy has been residing in Guwahati with her mother, while her father who is a daily wage laborer continues to stay in Sivasagar along with her brother who is pursuing his education there. She has two elder sisters as well; while the eldest of them is married, the other one is studying in Guwahati.
For her grit and willpower, Princy has received many awards of appreciation including Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Award for Kamrup (M) District 2018, All Tai Ahom Students’ Union Certificate of Appreciation 2018, The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence 2018, Assam Talks Adamya Pratibha Award 2017 and the Bhupen Hazarika Award.
Inspired by her journey, the managing director of Nemcare Hospital in Guwahati had offered Princy a job at the front desk in November 2017. The 19 year old has been happily working at the help desk of the hospital for the past whole year. She has taken up the task gracefully, helping patients and attendants alike with their queries. Her talent has been spotted by various media houses and private organizations too who have honoured her in their own ways.
However, the government seems apathetic to the difficulties of people like her. Princy informed G Plus that she hasn’t received any allowance or assistance from the state government so far. She added, “There are thousands of differently-abled people in our state who have been suffering since a long time. It’s high time that the government takes an all-inclusive approach and pay heeds to our problems too.”